The abundance of overwintered predatory arthropods in agricultural landscape elements


Abstract: Predatory arthropods are important natural enemies that can play a major role in reducing pest populations. Various types of landscape elements in the agricultural landscape offer hibernation sites for predatory arthropods, and thus contribute to the occurrence of predatory arthropods in agroecosystems, which in turn enhances biological control.The abundance of different overwintered predatory arthropod groups was measured and compared in different agricultural landscape elements adjacent to arable fields, to determine whether these groups have any overwintering site preferences. Five different landscape elements were studied in five one-km radius landscape circles. Each circle contained all five types of landscape elements. Emerging ground dwelling arthropods were sampled with pitfall traps installed inside emergence traps. Four major predatory arthropod groups were found: ground beetles (Carabidae), rove beetles (Staphylinidae), spiders (Araneae) and harvestmen (Opiliones).According to the results, landscape element types influenced the abundance of overwintered predatory arthropods. The abundance of predatory arthropods was significantly higher in linear grassy field margins and their abundance was also high in woody linear elements. Significantly fewer arthropods emerged from semi-natural grasslands, woodland edges and cover crop edges, than from grassy field margins.

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